Some people are detailed-oriented. Some aren’t. Every person has the skills and the ability to be detailed-oriented. In this post about implementing a detailed-oriented management strategy, you should find that you have the skills. You just need to think more strategically about the important details.
Being Detailed-Oriented is Possible!
I like quoting this: you don’t have to be detailed-oriented to be successful, but you need to know the right details to achieve success. It’s not about knowing everything. It’s all about knowing what’s important.
Zig Ziglar, the famous sales and marketing expert, often told a story about detailed-oriented skills. He asked his audience if they were detailed-oriented. Most of the office would avoid raising their hands in agreement. Then he would ask them this question: do you plan out what you’re going to do on vacation. In response, a lot of hands would go up. At that point, Zig would explain to the audience that each person pays careful attention to the details when it’s important to the person.
With that in mind, let’s work on putting a simple structure on finding and working on what’s important.
Just like the story about preparing for vacation, we need to find out the details that are important. This may require the most work, depending on your situation. Do you know what details you need to know? For example, many retail stores will focus on total sales – which is a good number. However, if the price they charge varies in “markup” (the actual profit) within the sales price, it’s important to monitor gross profit – the money made from the sale after the actual item cost is deducted.
Sometimes salespeople will sell a lot and get the total sales price numbers very high. If they are choosing to sell those items that make little profit, however, there could be a problem. It could be that, at the end of the day, the company actually loses money to deliver or provide the product or service. That’s why you need to know what you need to know.
Once you have a good set of numbers and detailed information, you need to be specific on how you’re doing to define it and record it. Select a manageable set of metrics. Define your metrics, or those numbers that give you important information to measure.
Explain to yourself and your organization in writing why you are monitoring particular metrics. It’s amazing how many companies monitor and track particular numbers, but they don’t have any idea for the reasons why. If you have to delete some metrics due to a lack of a good reason, that’s okay. It’s also okay to be tracking something that you have to add to the metrics you are already tracking, just as long as you can explain the importance. Otherwise, you run the risk of you and your staff ignoring the numbers altogether.
Make sure that you “mine” or “sift” out the important metrics from the less critical ones. Organize your metrics, or those numbers that give you important information to measure, by groups. Choose specific metrics to monitor daily. Choose other metrics to monitor on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis. When you categorize your metrics, create the conditions and rules for the details. Ensure that you know the reasons for the importance of every metric you monitor and find ways to get the most information out of them. Don’t just review the metrics – find the effectiveness in them.
As we mentioned before, you may have to reduce the importance of a metric, or simply eliminate it altogether. Conversely, you may need to add a metric at particular times. Make a point to review every metric for its importance. Additionally, create a “dashboard” that shows the important information that you need to have at your fingertips on a daily basis. When someone asks a question about an important metric, you need to have that metric at your fingertips. Review it often and monitor it so closely that you can accurately quote the current value of that metric by memory.
We’ll offer more details on these critical points of building a system to know and monitor your important details. If you would like more information, email us at [email protected] We’ll send you some great questions to help you in this process to be an expert on your important details.